What would it be like to shut off our primary source of entertainment? Most of you guys have already clocked the wicked of talent of Stuart over at Forged From Reverie. This piece of prose came out of a conversation we had earlier today and is totally inspired by Stuart’s observations in: Tell your eyes to shut up.
The ghost with two faces
I knew that the lights were too bright here. A postmortem wretches, dragging a white stick along the pavement cankers of dead men. Another restraint of storm twitches through paper bag leaves, wounded and wasted. Silent scars outline in words forged from clay, bold in the hands of memory. And even in tearing sun, I stop to find the corners of this jigsaw.
And would you fire up the dragnets of prediction? Often we lie down in the foothills when all we want is to be torn apart by silent wolves. I have looked for blindness in the darkness of seeing. Shifting stories under stinking sheets. Painting with the blunt end of the brush.
I knew that the lights were too bright here. The accountancy of shame would tell me this is fear, but in the corner of a sunlit room the ghost turns another face. Hope smiles. Still waiting for the taste of my screams.
In this place light has never touched flesh. The solitary rook cries out a lantern, and every graveyard answers. Ghost and Bone. Skull and Ghoul. Chain and Pain. Crawling from the plague pits, beauty dripping pus alongside the beast. There’s nothing quite like the stench of proximity to kill the mood. Does it do to wander where the children of carrion rise? Death can be born so easily, carried home on a single kiss perhaps? My thoughts have been feathered of late. And yes, I believed them. I even thought I was the protagonist, sometimes…a billion times. But no matter which road I take, I always end up crashing the same party.
Day cuts deep along the skyline, bleeding crimson with its skin. Chorus would herald the fading of this fearful night, but even the familiar of that song is lost. Scratched silent in the inking of mutilated shadows, a hundred heartbeats seeking out the stick built towers where a crow can become a rook. Fights and flights. Fears and Tears. Rambles and Shambles. Everyone is invited. And spliced between the knaves of rhyme, the solitary rook becomes crow.
© 2017 jac forsyth
Did you know that birds scream? I hear them sometimes, when the night train plays out a symphony on melted sand. The sound comes scratching, scraping, catching in bewildered rhythms. Snap. Cut. Slice.
I see now that they draw their torture in screwed up blueprints, and I let the music of that rest easy in my mind. Is this the homecoming that seduces inside my chest? Strange that I feel safer here than I have ever felt.
I’ve wandered too long in dead auction houses. Too many bidders. Too many defeats. Too many white flags. Ideas are dead. Books are dead. The zombies are already here. Words stream live into a billion minds. And on nights like this the birds scream so loud, that they make no sound at all.
© 2017 jac forsyth
Once, I found the truth in Kafka. Now you’re all I can think about. It feels like it’s gonna rain again. Rooftop to gutter. River to ocean. Currents don’t care about the colours of individuality. They take everything with them. But when I close my eyes, the plastic is always orange. And I thought. I hoped. That if I fell into that same oblivion. I would end up on a trash island with you. Tangled up in the six pack nooses. Our clarity mistaken for jellyfish. Somewhere else.
I felt the ripping of your absence before I met you. When we kiss, I know what it feels like to die. Turns out the sea was always the important bit. And when we’re alone you dance like Brendon Urie.
© 2017 jac forsyth
Dress my obsessions in poison. When the splintering came, it came quietly, and now I don’t give a damn about anything. I used to think it was compassion that burned in me, but turns out it was just a scaled up version of paradise. I ripped out the cellophane from envelopes and made a window but no matter what curtains I buy, it still stinks of anonymous mail.
You tell me I’ve figured out a thousand ways to filter the world, but I still can’t identify an assassin in the mirrored line-up. I’d stain them into glass perhaps? Bend them in flame, beat them into a shape I can use? The sickle drummers carve out the tune, but they don’t know shit about the melody. Empathy pretends to be about other people, but all it wants is control of the SatNav. Across the horizon, compassion raises an army, but I seem to be facing the wrong way. And I don’t see you anymore.
Wake up the band. Bring back the panic. In the darkness cellar, a snake waits to be a rope. It used to be the truth, now it’s just another altered reality. I light a match and try to remember what it was like to care if the whole damn world burnt to ash.
© 2017 jac forsyth
There are four and twenty ways to cry. I know them like I know my own skin. Still, this thinking, it scratches me awake. Softness has a way of seeking out the weak places, the fault lines. The errands of departure. What would life be without the loss of it? A platitude, nothing more. And so I take a hammer to the nails of my mind and beat the song back to melody. Colours to white. Glass to sand. Blood to iron. The carcass of it dragged helpless while I break the rocks of absent dreaming. There are four and twenty ways to cry, but for all my tears, I can find only one way to love.
© Jac Forsyth 2017
We break bread with ogres, caretaking the promises of this magic bean deal. Smell the blood. Grind the bones. Breathe the colour of rust. I want to believe in dragons, in golden harps, golden eggs, golden knights. My ribbons and bows cut and curled on the edge of a tamed sword. I want to stay in endless skies, endless dreams, endless climbs, when even the memory of decent is lost, rotted away with the worm filled witches. I want to be wrong on those rare, silent nights, when I remember the sound of bells, tolling in the village below.
Tears turn to ice in the might have been castles of this fairy tale. I have seen the light of dead stars, sharp and splintered out across the inside of my eyelids. And still I long for the sweet warmth of boiling.
I asked you once why we dream of Once Upon a Time from the scalding depths of this black cauldron. And you smiled like I was a child and told me that coming up for air is always harder than drowning.
You who are wild with soliloquies, bring me the silence of your dead. See, my doubt snakes through the contours of this inimical land. Where are the pacified? The litter of this city? Carbon in moonlight, the song that won’t sing rips out my throat. Sometimes I dream that I am born under the flow of continents, entombed in citadels where land and sky fold with the relics of my mind. And when I wake, when I wake…
All I want is oblivion.
Pin me to the sun, I begged you once. And you took me to your sky. You showed me eternity burning, blown autumn with the cinders of perdition.
In the hours when you sleep, I lie awake. The loss of you still wrapped around me in blankets. I am scattered, the edges of my mind blurred and rubbed out. The parade of me called off. Switched off. Temper the sound of my breath. My heart beat. I dream of ghosts, fevered and recycled demons, clawing Marley at my door. Flicking channels, I seek out my own fear in cinematic nightmares. Another autopsy of death drawn scarlet on snow. Another scream of innocence, muted down to 4am. I am cold. Disenchanted by the mechanics of terror. I hold a spyglass to catch the light of dead stars, but that smoke in soft curls still burns. When you sleep. Sometimes, I miss your silence more than your words.
And all that is left of me is the scent of roses, on your skin.
Please hold the line while we try to connect you.
Another untaken flesh floats with the seaweed, tidal through this silent night. Eyeless ghouls moan their pleasure, rebellious at the scraps. And we who are wolves, wait silent. Our throats too narrow, too bloodied with echoed howling, to eat from this master’s banquet.
Please hold the line while we try.
Another silenced footstep. Another silenced cry. Another silenced breath. Where are the drums in this melody of marching? Where is the tail in this stinging tale? Where is the straight in this twisting? Build another book out of burned pages. Build another truth out of lies. Fear. Hate. Erase. Forget. Repeat.
Please hold the line.
Another sullied standard unfurls, raised virgin on the ramparts of this lost kingdom. The bloodied bones of enemy, chalked out, rubbed out. One more blueprint of arrogance. One more brick of separation mortared. One more howl on the wind. And we who are wolves, wait silent. Beaten to mongrel by this empire of ogres.